For years, our research has shown that the majority of consumers prefer masterplans over subdivisions, and 2010 was no different. The following is our ranking of the top selling masterplans in 2010:
Our Consulting team has been active across the nation analyzing these communities and their competitors, and we will define 10 lessons learned from these communities in a series of reports over the next several weeks.
Master-Planned communities are large scale developments that typically include a wide array of real estate product, diverse amenities and multiple commercial uses (such as offices, shopping centers and hotels). The concept is that a “place” can be created where different lifestyle options are offered and a central environment is established. Starting with such trend setters as Columbia in Maryland, The Woodlands in Texas and Mission Viejo and Irvine in California in the 1970s, and followed by The Villages in Florida and Valencia in northern Los Angeles County in the 1980s, masterplans defined a clear path to establishing value and creating a magnet for the home buying public. Masterplans have become synonymous with great schools, expansive parks, safer investments, and recreational opportunities that command a 6-10% price premium over the competition.
Lesson #1: Watching the Balance Sheet: During economic downturns, the masterplans with little debt and plenty of cash in the bank usually outsell the competition dramatically as they are the most desirable places to live and consumers have more confidence in their investment. The masterplans with a lot of debt or who just finished spending all their cash on infrastructure and amenities fail. The following 20 masterplans are the success stories of this cycle.